SHS hosts health expo

by Ruthie Kelly

Health-conscious students can celebrate National Public Health Week by exploring local wellness options on campus during today’s Health Expo: The Road to Wellness.

On Centennial Walkway, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., students can scale the ROTC’s mobile rock climbing wall, try on beer goggles that mimic the effect drinking has on a person’s vision or learn how to do a breast exam to check for cancer.

San Diego State’s Department of Public Safety is planning a self-defense demonstration, and students can also sample short selections of activities from exercise classes at the Aztec Recreation Center, among other things.

Last year, students could be seen running on a treadmill or testing out a rowing machine, as well as previewing portions from a martial arts, cardio, kickboxing and yoga classes.

The expo, hosted annually by Student Health Services and sponsored by the ARC Wellness Center and Associated Students’ Cultural Arts and Special Events, is also an opportunity to connect with local vendors of health-related products and services, many of whom offer free samples for students to try.

Prashila Mistry, a nutrition graduate assistant, is the president and founder of HeadSTRONG, an on-campus student organization also hosting the expo.

“Students may not be aware of different resources around in the local community,” Mistry told the SDSU NewsCenter. “This is a way for them to receive outreach, information and resources for not only now, but in the future.”

Stephanie Waits, a graduate assistant of ARC Wellness and Violence Prevention and fellow co-chair, agreed.

“Health and wellness encapsulates so much more than people actually think of,” Waits said.

“It’s a really holistic thing, and we want to work it from a lot of different angles. So our vendors are not only dentists and doctors, but also include yoga, nutritionist and health bars, alternative health care options, violence prevention work, and lots of other things.”

To encourage students to extend their visits to the expo, each table will have a stamp students can collect on a stamp card.

Once a student has visited six different booths, he or she can trade in the card for a prize, such as sunglasses or a tote bag.

“One of our main goals is to give vendors an opportunity to advertise,” Waits said. “But what’s really important is for students to see what other services are offered beyond those just on campus. It’s a unique opportunity to explore other local offerings.”